Archives for July 2012

Imaginative Perspectives on Food

Writing about food that is actually about food is hard to come by. More often than not, when we talk about a particular dish–say, a piece of cake– we are not talking about the actual cake, but family birthdays and food politics and memories and solemn vows that the “diet starts tomorrow.”  Rare is a […]

Where I’m NOT From

One of the simplest and most effective writing prompts I’ve used when leading workshops is inviting workshop participants to write a piece of prose or poetry whose every sentence or line begins with the phrase “I am from …” I don’t know where the prompt originated, but if I’m not mistaken I was introduced to […]

Homesickness at our Fort Greene Park workshops

In a shop-talkin’ letter to fellow poet Louis Untermeyer, Robert Frost once wrote of their shared craft, “A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”  Though this quote says nothing of where a poem ends, it seems to imply that a poem, well-crafted, makes something of these […]

walt l. shamel garden

The community garden across the street from me is a gathering spot, and with summer, they have launched several new projects for the community. I was happy to see months of work come into fruition with the latest addition, a farmers market! The founder was inspired while working on a documentary film of farmers. When […]

Rare Book School: That good book smell

Opening this week’s Shelf Awareness newsletter was quite refreshing. Headlines and blurbs like “Publishers Urged to Support Stores to Boost E-Book Sales” and “Amazon’s Mobile Expansion: ‘Five or Six’ Tablets?” were delightfully followed by the likes of this: “Classes in Session for ‘Rare Book School’ Students.” But huh? What is this Rare Book School?! Founded […]

Dangling Conversations

In 2011, phones vibrated or dinged with over 8 trillion text messages.  Most of those texts were from teens.  According to a study by Pew, teens send an average of 3,200 texts per month – which is double the number of text messages exchanged by people old enough to rent a car and, not surprisingly, […]

Close Encounters With Animals

In India I came face to face with a monkey. I was walking on a bridge over the Ganges River in Rishikesh. The bridge was narrow and the monkey was blocking my path (and/or I was blocking the monkey’s path). What I now consider comedy but which I didn’t think was comical at the time, […]

hip hop festival

Last Saturday, many fans of hip hop gathered at the new Pier 3 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The yearly celebration featured Busta Rhymes as a headliner, and entertained guests with local hip hop acts all afternoon. An aspect that not many realized was the beautiful addition of Family Day, a festival within the festival focused […]

Here But I’m Gone: A 70th Birthday Tribute to Curtis Mayfield

Earlier this month Narrator Writing Prompts Editor Derek Loosvelt challenged us to find our own stories and adventures with Bobby McGee, and if you still seek that spark of soulful storytelling from a late great, I have four words for you: Lincoln Center. Curtis Mayfield. For one night only, the Lincoln Center Festival and the Mayfield […]

Tell Me Your Dreams

Dreams have played a significant part in the history of literature. Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were based closely on the dreams of their authors. Stephen King’s work has been inspired by dreams. And dreams play a prominent part in Roberto Bolano’s fiction. I don’t know why exactly, perhaps […]